Mortgage Applications Decline in the Week Ending February 23rd, as Interest Rates Climb Above 7%

According to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey (WMAS) for the week ending Friday, February 23rd, the Market Composite Index—a measure of mortgage loan application volume—decreased 5.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 3.0% compared with the previous week.

The Refinance Index decreased 7.0% from one week ago and was 1.0% lower than the same week one year ago.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 5.0% compared with one week ago. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 1.0% compared with the previous week and was 12.0% lower than the same week one year ago.

Commenting on the results of this week’s survey, MBA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni said:

“Mortgage rates were little changed last week, with the 30-year conforming rate declining slightly to 7.04% but remaining about a quarter percentage point higher than the start of the year. Higher rates in recent weeks have stalled activity, and last week it dropped more for those seeking FHA and VA refinances. Purchase activity is running 12% behind last year’s pace, but our January Builder Application Survey results showed that applications to buy new homes were up 19% compared to last year. This disparity continues to highlight how the lack of existing inventory is the primary constraint to increases in purchase volume. However, mortgage rates above 7% sure don’t help.”

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